Centerless towns, tornados full of beach umbrellas, and electrifying art.

July 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

I found a city in Italy that made me ecstatic to get back to Ancona: Pescara.

Mr. Italian had a business meeting there yesterday, and I decided that it was a perfect opportunity for me to tag along and explore a new city while he does important things for a few hours.  So, another 5:30 AM wake-up call, picking up the company car, and zooming down the Adriatic coast.  We took the exit for Pescara, and there the adventure started… or, rather, didn’t.  I have never been able to not find the centro before, but, in this case, we were both at a loss of where it could be hiding.  I came to the conclusion that there is no centro.  So, Mr. Italian dropped me off at a random, slightly-sketchy corner, and kept zooming off to his appointment.  I twirled around in circles for a couple of minutes, and then headed in what I assumed to be east (at least there is the sea, right?).

En route, I had breakfast at an out-of-place-ly adorable bar, with a particularly chocolate-filled croissant.  The coffee shop was painted all sorts of bright colors and contained no shortage of quirky decorations and international books.  It even had a ‘shopping nook’ inside, which featured some of the owner’s creations:


After getting an energy boost from the cappuccino and GERMANY REIGNS, BRAZIL IS SQUISHED! newspaper headlines, I continued walking until I hit the sea.  Except that I was on the ‘wrong’ side of the city, so I had to cross over a desperately modern bridge over the port.  Coming down, I was greeted with a packed shoreline that stretched far into the horizon.  The last tip that you see should be Monte Conero (Ancona)!


I began my beach trek north at this wannabe-tropical establishment:


, and then walked about ten kilometers through crowded beaches with half of the world splashing around and laying there, sun-drying like sardines.  Hundreds of beach establishments that all look the same, except for the color of the umbrellas:


I do think that it deserves a mention that I did pass a couple of Santa Clauses instructing acqua zumba.  And then, I look up to see several dozen umbrellas floating in the air, spinning wildly in circles.  Initially, I thought that it was some sort of art installation, but then everyone started screaming and the life guards started evacuating the beaches.  I learned that it was actually a beach tornado, and that Italy is now in danger of being impaled by these huge beach umbrellas when they will fall back from the sky.  Lovely.

After that confusing interlude, I made my way back into the water and continued wading north until a river separated me from continuing along the lungomare.  While looking for a bridge to cross over, I found a creepy abandoned fairground:


, and a shady park that had a Poetry Garden inside.  It also had a Super Level bodybuilder who asked me to join in, and a dog pound right next door that took all of its inhabitants on an afternoon ‘walk’ in the park, and so I woke up from a brief nap on a bench surrounded by ten dogs sitting there and looking at me.  I took it as a sign to move on.

Crossed the bridge and took an alley down back to the sea that was clearly used for nightly business because, despite all of the Divieto di contrattare prestazioni sessuali signs plastered up, it didn’t stop cars from slowing down next to me.  Probably not the best day to wear an ‘I love you!‘ shirt.

But at the end of the road, I was greeted by a beautiful, secluded cove with clear waters and clearer skies:


At the end of this cove was a single shack (called il Sorriso, how perfect), nestled on some cliffs and serving plates of pasta di pesce.  It was one of the windiest and most delicious meals I have ever eaten:


Tummy full, I continued following the waterline for another ten kilometers north, out of the touristic hubs of Silvi, and into the quieter, more natural coasts of Pineto:


Finally, some fresh air!  Lots of it, actually… the waves were really impressive.  Between that and the white sand, I could almost convince myself I was back on a beach in South Carolina with the ocean in front of me.


Then I was joined back up by Mr. Italian, and after a gelato break, we moved the party north to Giulianova.  Since it has my name, it makes sense that I picked it as the city en route back home to explore ; )  It was a good choice though, as the entire hilltop portion of the city was setting up a city-wide beer fest, which included about twenty different beer stands, live music in every piazza, homemade crafts, sangria, and other goodies.  Though even without the festival, it was a charming city, with its buildings:


, and art covering up all of the electrical boxes:


All of them!

Tummies full again, we zoomed back up the coast, a very colorful sunset and old, cheesy music accompanying us the entire way home.  And though I eventually found some nice nooks during the day, I still felt very happy to return to Ancona.  Especially since I did it just in time to get into my pj’s, open a bar of chocolate, and watch Argentina vs. Holland.


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